Heroes 5 too random

The new Heroes games produced by Ubisoft. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Banedon
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Heroes 5 too random

Postby Banedon » Jul 7 2008, 9:41

Examples:

You're playing Academy, using Nathir. It's a Week of Fire. gg.
You're playing Haven. You have 11 morale and Retribution. Week of Balance (no morale and luck). Your opponent pushes you. gg.
You're playing Necropolis. You have Howl of Terror. Week of Balance. gg.

Is it just me, or are the possible weeks in Heroes 5 much too random, with killer consequences? A Week of Balance thumps anyone relying on Luck and Morale; a week of Conjunction quickly reduces the interval where a spellcaster has his say. There are even weeks that target specific races. Dangerous? I've played games where we had to agree not to fight because the week biased against some factions.

Other things: everyone with some experience at the game will know that certain races have terrible creatures, namely Inferno (especially), Stronghold, Necropolis and Fortress. The reason the factions aren't underpowered is because of the hero. Inferno armies, if built up, can count on huge numbers of reinforcements in any fight. Powerful? You bet. But crucially, you need a hero!! Without a hero the Inferno army is a sad excuse for an army. This means however that if the neutrals surrounding your mines are Inferno creatures while those guarding your opponents' are Haven, you are already advantaged.

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Postby Elvin » Jul 7 2008, 10:13

Heroes 5 has some randomness by default, the weeks are the least part. The worse weeks are of disease, plague and festivals for me mostly because spellcasting/warmachine factions will remain almost unaffected in creeping. Dwarves or sylvan on the other hand will be affected harshly.

Still you can't expect to play a game where the better player always wins, you just try the best you've got in shaping all this chaos to your benefit B-)
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Postby SirTimotheus » Jul 7 2008, 11:44

I don't think the randomness is worse than in Heroes 3. One instance of good morale in a big battle can completely change the outcome. The weeks still had some of these "imbalances"; I believe the week of the plague did not affect the Necropolis, for instance.

Besides, as Elvin said, a big part of this game and many other games is the tactics - how to best deal with the circumstances given to you.

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Postby Sgt_BFG » Jul 7 2008, 12:13

Too random? I haven't played Heroes 5 in a while, but I don't remember there being too much randomness.

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Postby Asheera » Jul 7 2008, 12:24

Well yes the weeks can break your strategy and game but I don't think it happens often to have a completely inappropriate week (such as Week of Balance when you have 10 Morale)

There's also those weeks (can't remember the name) which reduces the initiative of evil/good races... THOSE can break your game if your opponent is the opposite alignment than you do! :mad:
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Postby Lord Lakely » Jul 7 2008, 13:02

Week of Balance is really sucky :tsdown:

But the worst are Week of Festivals for Academy and week of Plague for Dungeon. Those HURT!. :slap:

And what's the problem with the week of Conjuction ? One of those and I'm never short of gold again! (I usually have a capitol by that time, and at least upgrades lvl fours). This week is IMBA for Sylvan and Fortress though. :bugsquash:

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Postby Borsuc » Jul 7 2008, 17:45

Heroes is too random and weeks are only a small part of it.

Regarding the best player should not always win, I disagree. It is much more interesting to rely on equal chances. Let me give an example with chess (I'm not talking about the actual game itself so don't shout "Heroes is not chess!")

If you are defeated in chess, you know that you have been outsmart. Thus, it is much more interesting to try out new strategies and better yourself at the game. For Heroes, whether that happens or luck was in your way, it is a lot harder to make the difference. That is, you may not be able to tell if you truly lost because of your skill or because of randomness.

Some amount of random is good, like dice, but in H5 it's way too much, especially when they influence the balance a whole lot. Would you like to play a game that has a perk that goes as follows:

Every week there is a 1% chance to win the game.

Not at all, random can be good, but Heroes is closing to the above with it. That is, a devastating week at the beginning of the game can decide the entire game. It may not end immediately but I don't think you will have many chances to win in that situation. Not to mention too much lucky strikes influencing the battle a bit too much.

If not weeks, then I suggest to make a lucky strike add only 50% of damage rather than 100%. The less impact on a random strike -- the better.
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Postby Asheera » Jul 7 2008, 18:13

What I think is too random is the starting ATB. It can change the outcome of a fight and you can't even control it! :tsdown: I think it should be reduced to a max value of 5% of ATB instead of the huge 25%
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Postby Borsuc » Jul 7 2008, 18:18

Oh yeah I forgot about that one too, you're right, it is very decisive.
I like random but not to the point where the game plays by itself and your outcome is defined by those, without your will/strategy.

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Postby Asheera » Jul 7 2008, 19:20

There's also another random thing I don't like in Heroes 5: the fact that at levelup you get to choose randomly between two skills and two perks. Sure maybe otherwise it would break the balance, but make the skills/perks more balanced then :disagree: Or at least increase the number from 2. Or maybe let us choose the perks and only the skills should pop up randomly based on the faction you play...

Enough ranting for now :D
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Jul 7 2008, 19:26

I'm not buying it.

For example I have never beaten Elvin. He's simply a much better player than me.

Another example, I was playing against Mytical. I was Dungeon. She was Stronghold. We had week of plague and week of disease two weeks in a row. This was good for me because it meant my powerful sp kept growing but the stack size wasn't so my destructive had greater potential even at a later game-time.

In the end her shatter destruction absolutely destroyed me and the relationship between stack size and destructive also held true for stack size and war machines.

Nathir plus week of fire doesn't mean GG. What if it's week 10? What if it's week 1.

Suppose you get a great week like week of (half spell cost) but your facing arcane archers guarding your important mine (also random). There's enough chances in the game to turn things to your favor if you play well.

In fact, many weeks do nothing at all. You notice if you turn on chaos weeks in Nevermindspy's rmg.

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Postby Borsuc » Jul 7 2008, 19:41

You see, that's exactly the point.

Some times you can find something else to your advantage.
Sometimes not.

You just had a normal game where random did not influence the outcome too much.
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Jul 7 2008, 21:11

Banedon wrote:Heroes 5 too random


Borsuc wrote:You just had a normal game where random did not influence the outcome too much.


So which is it? I think Borsuc is opposite of Banedon here? Apology if I took your quotes out of context but the thread isn't that long yet.

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Postby Banedon » Jul 8 2008, 0:04

Heroes 5 has some randomness by default, the weeks are the least part. The worse weeks are of disease, plague and festivals for me mostly because spellcasting/warmachine factions will remain almost unaffected in creeping. Dwarves or sylvan on the other hand will be affected harshly.


Yes, and the list goes on. Previous Heroes games had only a few dangerous weeks. The only week in Heroes 3 of consequence is the Week of Plague, which however doesn't occur too often (and besides direct damage was considerably weaker in Heroes 3 - still powerful though). Other weeks, such as weeks of Grand Elves or similar, can be easily eliminated as a factor by agreeing beforehand not to recruit the extra Elves (it's not a big factor anyway in a large final fight). Heroes 5 weeks can have extreme consequences. 50% extra damage off spells is huge (like the Week of Fire); 20% extra less defense for certain creatures (Week of Feebleness) can all huge effect on the final fight. And ... they occur often.

And what's the problem with the week of Conjuction ? One of those and I'm never short of gold again! (I usually have a capitol by that time, and at least upgrades lvl fours). This week is IMBA for Sylvan and Fortress though.


Problem with a week of Conjunction is apparent if you consider the following case study:

You're playing Dungeon on a small map (say, Mystic Vale). Right at the start you decide you'll be pursuing a rush strategy with few creatures. Instead of building Raiders and Hydras and so on, you pour resources into the Mage Guild, reaching Mage Guild level 5 before the end of the second week, getting Meteor Shower off the guild and charging your opponent.

Unfortunately enough, week 3 is a week of Conjunction! Your opponent shows up on the battlefield with three times the creatures, and so three times the turns needed to kill them with Destructive Magic. You are beaten not because your opponent had superior skill; you are beaten by a totally random factor. Yet you have no choice but to continue your strategy. If you wait another week, you end up having to face another weeks' growth of creatures without getting significantly stronger yourself - unless of course the next week turns out to be a week that favours you (Week of Earth). And then your opponent is in some difficulties, though again not through your skill but through your luck.

Not at all, random can be good, but Heroes is closing to the above with it. That is, a devastating week at the beginning of the game can decide the entire game. It may not end immediately but I don't think you will have many chances to win in that situation. Not to mention too much lucky strikes influencing the battle a bit too much.


I agree. Some randomness is good and even fun, but randomness with such game-changing consequences, enough to smooth over and erase mistakes one might have made, is too much.

Another example, I was playing against Mytical. I was Dungeon. She was Stronghold. We had week of plague and week of disease two weeks in a row. This was good for me because it meant my powerful sp kept growing but the stack size wasn't so my destructive had greater potential even at a later game-time.

In the end her shatter destruction absolutely destroyed me and the relationship between stack size and destructive also held true for stack size and war machines.


You were beaten, to be honest, by bad play - it's a case of superior skill erasing luck. It happens. But the point is that luck as big as this can overcome skill. You can be a slightly better player but still lose because of this randomness, which is certainly unfair.

In this case I think you really ought to have pushed hard after the twin weeks which seriously favoured you. If the game drags to the tenth week Dungeon will be inferior; that is pretty obvious. On the other hand if a fight occurs in the third week, especially after two weeks of Disease and Plague, Dungeon will be advantaged. Push! Go for the throat! Don't wait! The longer you wait the less of an advantage you will have; even if you cannot force a decisive battle at least seize crucial resources.

The other thing was to expect Mytical to go for Shatter Destruction. She's got a 2% chance of learning it, which is low, but still entirely possible (especially if there's a Memory Mentor on the map). Even if she weren't playing Stronghold you can expect counters - Magic Resistance, Protection, etc. Don't rely on a single magic type. Dungeon has two magic types at its disposal, both benefiting from high spell power. Use the other. A hero with both Summoning and Destruction will be so much harder for Mytical to counter, especially if you get Conjure Phoenix in your mage guild (randomness again ...), especially if you force an early fight.

I don't know the details of the game, but it seems to me you were simply outplayed. Good play can go a long way to compensating bad luck. It's just that between two otherwise almost equally skilled players, luck on the scale of Heroes 5 can have too big an effect.
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Jul 8 2008, 3:24

I did invade her land and I did have summon phoenix. Wish I had saved the replay.

What happened was that my implosion only did 1080 damage and the ballista had 1100 hp, so I couldn't waste the shot. Her ballista killed my phoenix in one turn.

But anyway, the heroes games have always had randomness as a huge factor. Heroes 2 certainly and 3 to a lesser extent are not intended as MP games, no?

H2 random towns on broken alliance, who do you want to get and why? The neutrals aren't going to make a huge difference...

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Postby Borsuc » Jul 8 2008, 11:52

PhoenixReborn wrote:So which is it? I think Borsuc is opposite of Banedon here? Apology if I took your quotes out of context but the thread isn't that long yet.
Look at it this way.

Some games are not affected by 'randomness' simply because there is a chance for a game to be "normal" -- that is not favor one side just because of luck (random, not the skill).

But the problem is when the other cases exist -- that is, when those bad weeks come up, or similar when all your shots are lucky with luck=1. They may be rare, but they shouldn't even be at all. For example, let's say that you have the following perk at level-up:

Every week there is a 1% chance to win the game.

This doesn't sound like much and is pretty not dependable, BUT when it HAPPENS, it's not fun at all. You may say that most games are 'normal' but what I am saying is that we have to eliminate the worst case scenarios (like the above).

For a lucky strike, for example, we can narrow down the damage instead of the chances. This is because, if one does only lucky shots with luck=1, then it's still limited since the damage is halved. If we lower the chance, there is still a worst case scenario in which he will score only lucky shots, even if rare.

The art of balancing is to balance the best-case scenario and the worst-case scenarios Image
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Postby Asheera » Jul 8 2008, 11:52

especially if you get Conjure Phoenix in your mage guild (randomness again ...)
Yes, I also hate that spells are random in the Mage Guild. It's simply not fair sometimes!

Stone Spikes, for example, is much inferior to Eldritch Arrow. Or let's say you have Master of Fire but no Fire spells shows up!

I think the spells should be selectable and balanced (not like some alternative upgrades)
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Postby danhvo » Jul 8 2008, 20:26

Borsuc wrote:...BUT when it HAPPENS, it's not fun at all.


That's your opinion. Of course I don't like it when luck goes against me (who does?), but if anything, that makes it more fun. As long as I have as much chance of benefiting from these randomness as of being penalized by it, so that things are evened out in the long run, I'm ok with whatever luck throws my way.

I completely disagree with everything you said about chance and randomness, but it's clear that your mind is set, so, let's move along.

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Postby Lord Lakely » Jul 8 2008, 20:50

Asheera wrote:
especially if you get Conjure Phoenix in your mage guild (randomness again ...)
Yes, I also hate that spells are random in the Mage Guild. It's simply not fair sometimes!

Stone Spikes, for example, is much inferior to Eldritch Arrow. Or let's say you have Master of Fire but no Fire spells shows up!

I think the spells should be selectable and balanced (not like some alternative upgrades)


That is the reason why you should wait to pick magical skills untill you've built Mage Guild four (or in Academy's case, five). Sole exception is Dungeon, which undoubtably MUST have Destruction. And Stone Spikes is the one-but-weakest spell in H5 (the weakest is Vessel of Shalyssa).

If the randomness bothers you, simply try to eliminate it (this may not work at some times)
Five tips from His Lordship to eliminate Randomness:

1) Pick your skills before moving on: once you know which town and hero you have, choose your skills and perks once you have him/her. Writes these down on a piece of paper or use Skillwheel adntry to follow that plan. To eradicate randomness, choose two or three skills, so you have some slots for you starting skill(s) and unique skill.

2) Choose your fifth Skill: After choosing (NOT picking) your four skills, choose some of your preference. The idea is that one of those becomes your fifth skill. Pick (= choose the skill at your level-up) this skill only after you have gotten your four basic skills (not counting perks), even if the chosen skill has 2% chance and suddenly pops up. Not doing as I described is risky and your planning may turn out be be rather badly.

3) Know who your enemies are. It is needed and you may require to alter your primairy's build to provide yourself on a good counter versus the enemy. It also influences your choice of Unit Upgrades/Alternatives

4) Send you Secondairies to Witch Huts Knowing which skills they give can be vital, and sometimes may provide your hero with rare, exotic skills. Alter your primairy's build if nessecairy.

5) Know where you can find Astronomists, Carthographers and Memory Mentors, if present Astronomers eliminate the weeks' randomness. You see which weeks follow and which you can expect, and maybe alter a bad week to one in your favour. Carthographers show the movement fo your enemy and the places where you can find Memory Mentors, Black Markets, Astronomers, etc. Memory Mentors are handy for... well, you know ;)

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Postby Elvin » Jul 8 2008, 21:26

Fifth? Maybe in an XXL map :tongue: The idea is that you start with 2-3 skills and only after getting what you want from them you move on.
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